For Referees

The Role of the Referee

In acting as a referee and writing approximately 500 words on the template provided, you are endorsing the claims made by the applicant.  These claims may be regarding:

  • activities undertaken
  • role and participation (e.g. within a team; leading; initiating etc.)
  • outcomes (e.g. success, statistics, change)
  • introduction/enhancement/dissemination of inclusive practices

You may also comment on relevant characteristics of the individual’s practice (are they known for the quality of their learning resources/approachability/inclusive practice?) Where appropriate align your remarks to the relevant UKPSF descriptor criteria.

You should ensure that you have read/seen the final version of the application which is to be submitted; there is no harm looking at drafts, and perhaps preparing some preliminary notes, but your statement is corroboration of the submitted application.

One of the referees (Referee 1) will be asked by the applicant to observe them in practice as appropriate to the category of fellowship applied for and the role of the applicant. For example, at D1/D2 level the observation has to be of teaching or teaching related sessions e.g. staff training; one-to-one student guidance; PhD supervision tutorials; whereas at D3 level it might involve observation of chairing a L&T related committee meeting.  See the ‘Further information’ section below for more guidance on observation of practice.

If you are asked to act in this capacity, you should make sure that you have at least the same category of fellowship being applied for. This observation is designed as a supportive peer process without any formal requirement for feedback or recording of outcomes to the TALENT scheme, although you may want to refer to it in your referee’s statement, if appropriate and relevant. You might also want to think of it simultaneously, as a way of fulfilling the requirement for annual PRE observation.

You will need to endorse, where possible, the eligibility of the applicant in terms of their years engaged in higher education teaching according to the category of fellowship applied for (1.0 year fte for Associate; 3.0 years fte for all other categories). If, for whatever reason, you feel unable to endorse eligibility in this way, feel free to contact to discuss this.

When approached by an individual to act as a referee try to ensure:

  1. That you have substantive knowledge of their practice over time and that you will be able to comment in reasonable depth on their practice or a specific aspect of their practice
  2. That the applicant has a clear timescale for submission so that you can produce the statement when required
  3. If you are being asked to observe practice, that this can take place to fit the timescale for submission

How the statement will be used

Your statement, in conjunction with other statements and the evidence presented in the submission, will be used to make a judgement about the practitioner’s alignment to the fellowship category they are applying for (Associate, Fellow or Senior). Note that in borderline cases the statements could be particularly significant in the panel’s deliberations.

Further information 

Observation of practice – guidance for applicants

Download a Referee Statement Form